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Information @ a glance

General
  • Green charcoal is an economical form of alternative fuel for home cooking and industrial needs. It is a more viable alternative to LPG based cooking. It is a compact solid fuel and is not actually green in color. Its name is derived from its source rather than its appearance. It is a product of various "grassy" or cellulosic materials and enzymes processed and compressed into solid pieces much like conventional charcoal. 
  • charcoal, substance obtained by partial burning or carbonization (destructive distillation) of organic material. It is largely pure carbon. The entry of air during the carbonization process is controlled so that the organic material does not turn to ash, as in a conventional fire, but decomposes to form charcoal.

Manufacturing Process

  • Most charcoal is produced from wood, but other sources may be coconut shells and crop residues. Charcoal is produced in kilns by a process called pyrolysis, i.e. breaking down the chemical structure of wood under high temperature in the absence of air. During the process, first the water is driven from the wood (drying), and then the pyrolysis starts when the temperature in the kiln is high enough. When the pyrolysis is complete, the kiln gradually cools down, after which the charcoal can be removed from the kiln. Because some of the wood is burned to drive off the water, dry wood produces better charcoal at a higher efficiency.

Applications

  • One of the most important historical applications of wood charcoal is as a constituent of gunpowder. It is also used in metallurgical operations as a reducing agent, but its application has been diminished by the introduction of coke, anthracite smalls, etc. 
  • Green-waste charcoal has the potential to be used in high-value markets and sold as barbecue fuel, a soil amendment, a digestive health aid, for steel or metal production and to manufacture activated carbons used to purify water. 

Market and Report

  • Traditional charcoal kilns will generate 1 ton of charcoal from 15 stere of wood. Improved charcoal kilns, such as the Yoshimura kiln or horizontal drum kiln will generate around 1.5 tons of charcoal, a 50% improvement and around 300 litre of wood vinegar. (Wood vinegar is a substance obtained from the condensation of the smoke released from charcoal kiln). To process all the output of the community forests, over 900 charcoal kilns operating throughout the year will be needed. By 2010, improved charcoal kilns producing charcoal from community forests outputs can contribute to the reduction of hardwood forest consumption by 52,000 stere.
  • The markets in the Cement City are Xipamanine, Bazar Central, Mafalala, Janet, Malhangalene dey Povo, and Urbanizacao. Mercado Xipamanine is the largest charcoal market; here around 70 charcoal retailers are located. At the other markets, the number of retailers fluctuates between 15 and 35.
  • Charcoal is retailed in a variety of different quantities. Usually some type of tin or other standard container is used as measuring device. The most common quantity is a full milk tin, ca. 800 - 900 gm, but quantities offered range from small heaps of less than 250 gm to large 20 litres oil tins containing up to 10 kg of charcoal. Remarkably, the sales price per kg hardly differs with the quantity bought, and the samples taken by the consultants even suggest that it is cheaper to buy small quantities.

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